Donald Trump plans to pardon Michael Flynn, former national security adviser – reports

Guardian staff
·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Donald Trump plans to pardon his disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn before he leaves office, according to multiple media reports.

Flynn will be among a series of pardons that Trump plans to grant before his term in office ends, multiple sources were reported as saying by Axios and the New York Times.

Flynn admitted lying to the FBI about his contact with the former Russian ambassador to the US, and became a cooperating witness in Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign’s links with Moscow.

Related: 'Conmen, grifters and criminals': why is Trump's circle so at odds with the law?

Flynn was the only White House official charged in Mueller’s investigation.

He has become a cause célèbre among the far right, with many of Trump’s most ardent supporters arguing the former national security adviser was a victim of the “deep state”.

Efforts by Trump and the justice department to dismiss the criminal case against Flynn have become mired in lengthy legal battles in the courts.

On Wednesday morning, the Democratic chair of the House intelligence committee, Adam Schiff, said that any such move would speak ill of America’s democracy.

He said that such a pardon by Trump would show that “if you lie on his behalf, if you cover up for him he will reward you and he will protect you if it’s in his interests”.

Schiff was a leading figure in the impeachment of Trump last year. The president was tried in the Senate and acquitted in early 2020.

He said world observers would see the pardon as reflecting badly on the US.

“It reflects so ill on our democracy, imagine what people around the world think when we have a president who is acting like an organized crime figure. But that is who Donald Trump is,” Schiff told CNN’s New Day.